A year after cybercriminals used its remote access app to scam customers, AnyDesk is working with various governments, law enforcement agencies, and the public to raise awareness about cyber security.
Exactly a year ago, cybercriminals used AnyDesk’s remote access application to illegally acquire data on a user’s device and carry out financial transactions without their knowledge or consent. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) finally and formally informed various banks about this modus operandi, asking them to create awareness amongst their customers to diminish these financial frauds.
Giovanni Castellini, VP-Marketing at AnyDesk recalls how this scam, highlighted that online security breaches are becoming more prevalent. Accounting for USD 3 trillion in losses due to cybercrime in 2015 globally, he estimates the number to double to USD 6 trillion by 2021 – statistics that match those offered by Cybersecurity Ventures.
One reason behind this high number is that often banks or even leading social media platforms do not immediately realise when an individual’s account has been compromised. Additionally, some companies refrain from reporting cyber breaches, fearing damage to their reputation and reduced customer trust.
“The critical importance of digital security cannot be overstated. It is imperative for businesses to utilize the tightest security and encryption technologies to protect not only themselves, but especially their users. On the other hand, people also need to become more informed and vigilant to stay safe online and thwart cyber criminals,” Castellini emphasised.
LEARNING FROM THE PAST
Since last year’s incident, innovative improvements to security has become AnyDesk’s ongoing priority. “Our commitment is prevention — and prevention comes down to education. Not all consumer markets are equally prepared to manage the challenges of online fraud, so we’ve been very intentional about working with various governments, law enforcement, and the public to raise awareness,” Castellini explained.
Hence, while addressing an increasingly younger online audience, AnyDesk also considers older users, who are more prone to cyber scams. This is especially when the scammer pretends to be a trusted source — like a bank or tax official —and requests access to sensitive information.
India has seen a huge spurt in cyber frauds, which can largely be attributed to the rapid digital explosion. A steady rise in digital banking, fintech services, mobile wallets, and online financial services platforms has been accompanied by an upswing in phishing, smishing and vishing attacks.
These attacks often start with on the smartphone. According to Castellini, India’s smartphone user base is expected to double to 829 million in 2022, up from 404 million in 2017. “By 2020, India could have about 650 million internet users. This phenomenal growth brings with it enormous opportunities for con artists to take advantage of uninformed consumers, and therefore, the need for smarter online use by everyone,” he cautioned.He encouraged fintechs to join AnyDesk in its efforts to educate and inform consumers about protecting their online security. After all, as cyberattacks become more sophisticated, it’s important for businesses and individuals to equally up their game.